SNMG-1 Left Istanbul

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ZrMs Tromp passing Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet Mosque.

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ZrMs Tromp heading to the Marmara Sea.

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The flagship of the task force NRP D. Francisco De Almedia was first to leave.

The two ship strong Standing NATO Maritime Group-1 left Istanbul this morning.

SNMG-1 arrived in Istanbul on 24 July 2015, for a four day visit after spending 21 days in Black Sea with extensive training with Bulgarian and Romanian navies.

Unlike their previous passage through the Bosphorus, this time the ships sailed in broad day light making it much easier to take photos. Much appreciated.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 Is In Istanbul

On 24 July 2015 Friday, the two ship strong Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 arrived in Istanbul for a port visit.
The task force made its northbound passage on 4 July 2015 late in the evening and spend the allowed 21 days exercising with Bulgarian and Romanian navies.

The ships are expected to leave Istanbul on 27 July 2015 Monday.

It is nice to see these ships in Istanbul and to observe them. Both ships are a result of the requirements of Netherlands Maritime Forces. Both ships are constructed in the Netherlands 9 years apart. The change in size, weaponry and sensors is striking. The change for a bigger ship with a emphasize on air defense.

The change for a bigger ship however resulted in reduced numbers. While there were 8 ship of the class of NRP De Almeida there are only 4 ships of the class of ZrMS Tromp.

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ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida side by side. You can see the revolution in Dutch naval requirements. Both ship are constructed for Dutch Navy with 10 years apart.

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ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida docked in Istanbul. The Portuguese ship is the flagship of the two ship strong task force.

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Stern view of ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida.The difference in size, sensor and armament is very obvious.

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While the self-protection system and anti ship missiles remain the same the anti air missiles and the main target detection sensors has changed.

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A side by side comparison of the two ships main detection and fire control sensors.

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Portuguese Super Lynx helicopter: Hooters.

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The main mast of ZrMs Tromp. From top: Thales Sabre ESM antenna, APAR fire control radar and Satcom antennas and Mirador electro optical system.

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The main mast of ZrMs Tromp. From top: A seagull, Thales Sabre ESM antenna, APAR fire control radar

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Mirador electro optical system.

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Thales Smart -L 3D radar. This radar will receive ballistic missile detection capability after its upgrade in 2018.

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The Mk32 Mod9 fixed torpedo tubes on ZrMs Tromp. I wonder why they have not covered them with a panel to further reduce the radar signature.

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Signaal Goalkeeper CIWS system.

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The main mast of NRP De Almeida. A top of the mast is the Signaal Smart 3D radar. The two STIR fire control radars are at the base of the mast.

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The bridge of ZrMs Tromp with its navigation radars and communication antennas.

FS Forbin In Istanbul

FS Forbin moored in Istanbul. Photo: Serhat Güvenç. Used with permission.

FS Forbin moored in Istanbul. Photo: Serhat Güvenç. Used with permission.

We are having a distinguished guest since 7 July 2015. The French Horizon class destroyer D-620 FS Forbin is in Istanbul. Although she is classified as anti-air frigate she is to be considered as a destroyer.

The visit of FS Forbin is the first visit of a Horizon class warship in Istanbul ever. Her sister D-621 FS Chevalier Paul was in Marmaris two years ago.

The visit of FS Forbin is not a routing port visit just to show the flag and establish good relationships. The ship needed resupply and maintenance.

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The supply chain of FS Forbin. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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Working on the aft SPN 735 surface radar. The radar is not accessible from inside the ship. Two sailors are working on the radar while the crane operator is clearly bored.

The Horizon class ships have two navigation and surface surveillance radars. The forward one is atop of the bridge and the aft one is on the mast that supports the SMART-L radar. It is not possible for the crew to access the aft radar from inside the ship. There are no hatches or stairs. Thus a crane was hired in Istanbul to allow two sailors to perform maintenance or repair work on the aft MM/SPN-753 navigation and surface surveillance radar. So this means there is no way to repair this radar underway. I find the decision to place that radar to an inaccessible place very strange.

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The on board helicopter is an AS-565 Panther with tail number 519. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

10-12-CDY_3982The hangar of the ship looks very spacious. The ship accommodate larger helicopters such as NH90, than the currently on board AS-535 Panther.

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Interestingly the funnels and the masts of the Horizon class are not symmetrical.

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Sagem NGDS multi function decoy launcher. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

Below are more photos of important sensors and weapons of the ship.

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2 Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid guns. The side by side configuration is not usual.

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A top of the middle mast is the Sagem EOMS NG optronic system. It rotates approximately 60 times a minute.

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Thales S-1850M long range air and surface search radar a variant of SMART-L radar

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DCNS Contralto-V anti-torpedo decoy launchers.

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GIAT 20mm F2 gun.

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Alenia Marconi NA 25 XP fire control system for the OTO Melera guns.

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The front mast. From top to down: Alenia Marconi SPY-790 EMPAR surveillance and fire control radar, sensors for ESM system, Alenia Marconi NA 25 XP fire control system, Thales C&S Surfsat-L SATCOM antenna for Syracuse satellite service, jammer of SIGEN EW Suite, 2 FURNO navigation radars and the fore SPN 735 surface search radar.

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Atop of the bridge: Jammer of SIGEN EW Suite, 2 FURNO navigation radars and MM/SPN-753 navigation and surface surveillance radar plus a number of unidentified sensors.

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Sylver A-50 VLS launcher for Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles seems to be well protected from the sea.

Detailed Photos Of Chinese Naval Weapon And Sensor Systems

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Since I cannot see a Chinese warship often, I tried to take as many photos as I can make.

My knowledge of Chinese naval sensors and weapons is very limited. Thus I welcome any additional information about them.

Turkish And Chinese Naval Forces Are Doing Reciprocal Port Visits

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F-495 TCG Gediz arrives at naval port Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, for a 3-day visit. Photo: Xinhua/Li Qian

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The Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 550 Weifang in Istanbul.

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The Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 547 Linyi in Istanbul.

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The Fuchi class replenishment tanker Weishan Hu 887 in Istanbul.

 

I think we are witnessing a rare moment in naval diplomacy. Turkish and Chinese Naval Forces are conducting reciprocal port visits.

Turkish Gabya class frigate F-495 TCG Gediz arrived at a naval port in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, on May 22, 2015 for a 3-day visit. As reported earlier she is on an a commemorative deployment to honor the sunken Ottoman sail frigate Ertuğrul in Japan. Therefore TCG Gediz is visiting the same ports Ertuğrul visited 125 years ago.

While TCG Gediz is in China, 3 PLAN warships, 550 Weifang, 547 Linyi and 887 Weishan Hu arrived today in Istanbul for a port visit. The ships have passed through the Çanakkale Strait yesterday morning and arrived in Istanbul this morning. The duration of the port visit is 5 days.

The Chinese do not talk much about the visit of the Turkish warship. And while the Turkish ship will be open to public visits, the Chinese ships in Istanbul are not open to visit, thought the Chinese allowed visitors on board, while they were in Russia earlier this month.

This double standard makes me, a very sad man.

Naval Parade To Commemorate The Gallipoli Wars

On 24 April 2015, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Çanakkale Wars, a naval parade was held under the command of Turkish Navy Northern Task Group Commander Rear Admiral Ali Murat Dede.

The formation led by Turkish frigate TCG Salihreis was made up from the following ships from 5 different nations:

Position Number Name Country Type
1 F-246 TCG Salihreis Turkey Frigate
2 150 HMAS Anzac Australia Frigate
3 F-241 TCG Turgutreis Turkey Frigate
4 D-614 FS Cassard France Destroyer
5 F-242 TCG Fatih Turkey Frigate
6 F-77 HMNZS Te Kaha New Zealand Frigate
7 F-240 TCG Yavuz Turkey Frigate
8 L-15 HMS Bulwark Great Britain Assault Ship
9 F-511 TCG Heybeliada Turkey Corvette
10 SG-702 TCSG Güven Turkey OPV
11 SG-703 TCSG Umut Turkey OPV

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli Land Wars, 4 different ceremonies were held. The first ceremony was organised by Turkish Republic at the Turkish War Memorial on 24 April 2015. On the same day following these Turkish ceremony one ceremony at the British War Cemetery and one in French Cemetery are held simultaneously by their respective nations.

The last and, one of the major commemoration ceremonies was the Dawn Service at the Anzac Cove on 25 April 2015. More than ten thousand Australians and New Zealanders attended this special event.

The naval parade was organized for the commemorations at Turkish War Memorial and for the Anzac Dawn Service. The following photos are from the first event.

The parade of the warships was followed by an impressive show of Turkish Stars the aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force. Click here for the photos.

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For the photos of the rehearsal click here.

Rehearsal For The Commemoration Parade

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On 23 April 2015, 11 warships from 5 different nations gathered in Çanakkale to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Çanakkale Wars.

Two of them F-77 HMNZS Te Kaha and 150 HMAS Anzac arrived after a very long journey. The New Zealand frigate Te Kaha left her home port in 16 February and The Australian Frigate Anzac on 15 March 2015.
In addition to Australian and New Zealand frigates the British assault ship HMS Bulwark and the french destroyer FS Cassard ware also present. From Turkish Navy TCG Salihreis, TCG Yavuz, TCG Turgutreis, TCG Fatih TCG Heybeliada took part in the commemorations. And Turkish Coast Guard participated with the offshore patrol vessels TCSG Güven and TCSG Umut.

The above photos are taken on 23 April 2015 as the ship sailed southbound on Dardanelles for a rehearsal.

For the photos from the international sail past click here.

18 March 2015 Naval Parade (Part 2)

I am posting a couple of wide-angle shots to give an impression about the general conduct of the naval parade.

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4 fast attack craft in formation. There is two more but I could not squeeze them in the the photo.

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The corvettes and patrol boats passing through Çanakkale.

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A wide-angle view of the helicopter fly past. 3 Navy S-70B Seahawks are in the front, followed by 3 Coast Guard AB-412’s and 3 (one not in the picture) Army AS-532UL Cougar Mk1.

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T-129 Atak. Turkish attack helicopter based on Italian Mangusta helicopter frame. 3 of them took part in the ceremonies.

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For the photos of the ships click here.

18 March 2015 Naval Parade (Part 1)

On 18 March 2015, Turkish Navy organised a Naval Parade in Çanakkale Strait to commemorate Turkish Victory over the Allied Armada 100 years ago.

6 Navy and Coast Guard helicopters, 3 maritime patrol planes and 6 Army helicopters took part in a fly over. And the Turkish Stars, the aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force made a display. The focal point of the commemorations was the Çanakkale Martyrs’ Memorial, was off the limit for me. But I was never the less able to take photos of the warships taking part in the parade, Coast Guard Boats, providing security and ships that were open for public.

TCG Fatih and TCG Akçay were moored in Çanakkale and were open for public visitation:
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The point ship of the naval parade was the replica of the small minelayer TCG Nusret. She was followed by TCG Alanya, TCG Akçakoca and TCG Ayvalık. This was a very propitiate selection ans the mines of the original Nusret laid 100 years ago had a had very definitive results, from the point of view of the continuation of the battle and the future of the world, the mines laid as Sir Winston Churchill once said.
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The second line of the ships were the frigates TCG Oruçreis, TCG Salihreis, TCG Yıldırım, TCG Yavuz, TCG Gemlik and corvettes, TCG Heybeliada, TCG Bozcaada and TCG Bafra.
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The frigates were followed by the patrol boats TCG Türkeli and TCG Karabiga.
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Coast Guard section was headed by TCSG Dost. TCGS Güven, TCSG 303 and TCSG 106 followed her.
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The fast attack boats were the last group of ships to take part in the parade. TCG Mızrak, TCG Kalkan, TCG Atak, TCG Doğan, TCG Tayfun, TCG Rüzgar.
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The following boats provided security during the ceremonies:
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Large landing ship TCG Osmangazi made an appearance in Çanakkale but she did not take port in the commemorations.
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HMS Duncan In Çanakkale

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The last of the Type 45 class destroyers, HMS Duncan made a port visit in Çanakkale during the 18 March Naval Victory Commemorations. I do not know her exact arrival and departure dates but she was there on 17, 18 and 19 March.

She was commissioned in 2013 and left UK for her  maiden deployment to the Mediterranean and Middle East on 2 March 2015.

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